How much happier would you be if you had no one else to compare yourself to aside from the people you interacted with in person? No overly staged Instagram photos of perfectly healthy balanced salads for lunch (when you're eating leftover chili and a piece of cake from a co-workers birthday party.)
No facebook photos of girls with 15% body fat with 'motivational' quotes on top of them (when the best you've done all week is a walk after work.)
If you weren't constantly bombarded by how 'perfect' other peoples lives, jobs, kids and marriages were; would you be happier?
I talked with my Mom for a while last night. She doesn't have any social media accounts. She's old school in thinking that if you are friends with someone you call them and see them in person. There's no need to keep a running tab on their lives through facebook or instagram. Obviously these outlets have their purpose, and I love using facebook to keep in touch with friends and family all over the world, but lately I've been feeling down on myself and social media overload is part of the problem.
The other part is my ongoing issues with anxiety, particularly a subtype known as perfectionist anxiety. It wasn't until recently that I was able to better understand the root of my anxiety after stumbling upon that term and having a bit of an epiphany. Growing up my parents instilled in me the idea that I could do anything I wanted to in life if I just worked hard enough for it. That's a great motto to have! I always felt empowered, and took 100% responsibility for my choices as an adult. Whatever I did, or didn't do, it was by my own choice.
I could be a Doctor, I could travel the world, I could be a stay-at-home Mom with 3 kids, I could never get married and devote my life to some cause, I could be an Ironman, I could be a best-selling author .... you get the idea.
Yes, my parents thought it was a good idea to style my hair like that.
The thing is; I still could do most of those things. Hence where the anxiety comes into play. Just last year I was working as a college adjunct teaching 5-6 classes a term, I supported myself in an adorable 2 bedroom apartment, I traveled, I was training for my third marathon, and I was still dissatisfied. I could have been doing so much more. Always so much more!
I see other bloggers who are pregnant who are working full-time, waking up at 5 a.m. to exercise for an hour a day religiously before work, taking care of their toddlers, and still finding time to prep healthy meals for their family.
I watched every episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt yesterday and had to stop my workout halfway through to take a nap (seriously...this happened.)
While I don't love not having a job outside of my freelance writing/social media work I can't do much about it now (being 5 months pregnant and moving in 4 months), so I should just relish in the free time I do have. I can't though. Because Mrs. Perfects Instagram feed just feeds into my perfectionism anxiety and I feel inadequate. It makes me think I'm not doing enough. I'm not earning enough. That I'm not enough.
Obviously this is MY issue, and I am actively working on changing the way my brain works. It's not always easy, and pregnancy hormones aren't helping, but I deserve better.
[Tweet "Could you have perfectionist anxiety?"]